Leading up to next week’s provincial election, Moose News sent out a questionnaire to all of the candidates in the Mushkegowuk James Bay Riding. Here is how Conservative candidate Eric Cote answered the questions.
1 — How would you improve highways in the north, especially maintenance during the winter months?
I strongly believe that what we have been dealing with in the last few years can only be fixed by a systematic approach. Increase the maintenance level is only one part of the solution. We need to review all aspects: driver training, driver hours and highway design. The PC Government has realized this long ago and has started moving down the path with trials of the 2 plus one laning program.
2 — Do you think Northlander passenger rail service should be restored before 2025, even on a gradual basis, ramping up to full service?
The north needs the Northlander, but I understand bringing a project such as this back may require time and considerable effort. We are dealing with the fallouts of the Liberals and the NDP voting to close the Northlander which set Northern Ontario back decades. Imagine if you will that they had not closed the Northlander in the first place. Today we would be discussing improving service and not restoring it.
3 — Gas prices are high everywhere but the north seems to get hit the most, how would you go about changing that?
We do have a plan which helps both residents and at the same time is fiscally responsible. We will reduce gas prices while continuing to work with the Federal Government to reduce their carbon tax. Now after a pandemic is not the time to gouge residents especially not in the north, where most things are already too expensive.
4 — Most communities in our region are chronically underserviced by doctors. How would you improve this?
The PC government is addressing and will continue to address the shortage of doctors by having the Northern Ontario School of Medicine a stand-alone institution. We will continue to review and find other ways of attracting the Doctors to our area along with our municipal partners.
5 — What will your party do to address rising housing costs in terms of building, ownership and rental?
Premier Ford and his team have already committed to build $1.5 million new homes over the course of the next 10 years. This can only be achieved by reducing the red tape and enacting the first ever Housing Supply Action Plan.